The formation of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger’s Sahel military alliance marks a pivotal moment in African history. France, it is time to listen, reflect, and gracefully withdraw from your former colonies. The people of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, and indeed all Africans, deserve the opportunity to shape their own destinies, free from the shackles of a colonial past.
Under the guise of “mission civilisatrice,” or civilizing mission, French colonialists aimed to bring European culture and values to Africa while exploiting its resources for economic gain. The brutal history of slavery, which served as an economic foundation for French colonialism, cannot be ignored. French colonialism in Africa left an indelible legacy, encompassing a range of impacts that continue to shape the continent today.
France has capitalized on Niger’s resources, primarily by controlling its uranium production, which constitutes a significant portion of France’s nuclear energy supply. It is time for France to respect Niger’s right to self-determination and depart from its oppressive role as a colonial master.